Tag Archives: summer

Chaos & Creativity

Crow-mtn

The mighty Bow River is high and wide, swollen to it’s maximum, breaching the banks in some areas. We have had heavy rains, and the large mountain snow-pack is still melting. I was in Canmore recently, and some of the paths we walked on have been closed due to flooding.

I started this blog post many times, and was unable to complete it until now. This is primarily due to a challenge in what Maslow’s hierarchy of needs refers to as satisfying lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth. I have proven progress is often disrupted by failure to meet lower level needs. Oh to become fully self-actualized. My Master Level Reiki training will have to wait until I can stabilize my income.

perspective

I am still undergoing major life transition. Despite the amount of chaos going on, I have decided my current position is advantageous. It is like the perfect storm for creativity. It is exciting to see what will happen next. My whole life has been a bit like this, but this feels bigger than what I have gone through before.

Still, I try to tie the invisible threads together to understand what is really developing here. I have a sense that I am on the right path, but not a clear picture of how things will transpire. One of the barriers may be that I think I need to know how to get where I am going. All that is really required is vision and desire. It is slowly formulating, like a pressure cooker builds up steam. I have discerned the precise details of how, are most likely not up to me.

Stampede-Clinic

stampede-horse_sm

The centennial of the Stampede was bigger than ever and has come and gone. A celebration of western heritage, it is a tradition here. Attendance records were broken. I painted another set of Stampede windows. Most stampede windows are very cartoon like, but I try to add a little something different in mine. I love the closeup of this horse. Too bad it’s not permanent.

Window painting is fun, though challenging to paint on glass and it also fills in the gaps financially. What I would really like to find is a mural job. Also, I am looking for someone to collaborate with musically. I did perform at a wedding, and just last weekend at a party. Both were well received, and now I will go to some jams and open stages to connect with others. I have been using positive affirmations and so I am saying, “The perfect job finds me.” I am intent on following my heart, and trusting the process to set me on the correct path.

Late Summer Stroll

lagoon-reflections

The weather has been phenomenal here in Western Canada. A blistering 30C at the end of September.

Tree tops tinged with yellow are starting to turn ever so slowly, leaves scattered on the ground like huge medallions. The kind of wind that jangles the nerves and rattles the joints swept through all the crevices and cracks thnige other night. The faint glow of early autumn sunset is reflected under the wings of the gulls overhead. The birds have not made up their minds about migration yet.

bowmont-rolling hills

I walked through the grass barefoot yesterday because I could. I wanted to feel myself connected to the earth. Along the path, I memorized the stones and formations.

The vastness of nature pointed out my insignificance. The river’s edges shiver, shade pools vanish into the shadows of the trees on the bank. Sometimes the state of the human condition is more than I can bear. I have been taking inventory of my own life. Exciting things are evolving.

Some movement forward is occurring in the form of new small contracts coming up this week including a fun project in the form of a window mural. I will post that project here. I can see the plan is unfolding and I am thankful to be allowing. We have so many beautiful parks in this city. Today I will enjoy another blissful day of sunshine. Life is good.

Dog Day Reflections

river-dusk

I love the refreshing feel of the cool night air on my bare skin. Fall is creeping around the corner. Though a goodbye to beautiful weather, fall is a huge season for rebirth.

I have seen spots of cool translucent yellow in the trees. From warm winds and sunshine to crisp evenings with the aroma of wood smoke trailing through the air. Taking solitude under shade trees near the river on hot days, I like to wade in the water to refresh myself. Today is far to cool for that, as there is a frost warning for tonight. Days fly by so fast.

summer-green

Lots of summer green and very little income but an abundance of extra leisure time. When not seeking work, much of that has been spent in reflection, unwinding and reevaluating priorities. Since being laid off at the end of June when the music school closed, I have had a couple of interviews, and sent out many more resumes.

The good news is I have found a part-time position as a guitar and piano teacher at Bowtown Music. I am pleased, as I really feel comfortable with the people. Since it takes time to build up a student base I am still looking for another job as well and know the right scenario is awaiting my arrival.

Summery Summary

Wild Rose Duo

Solstice came and went with a coolness to the day and cloudy skies. A shock of light wove between clouds like a ribbon.

The enlivened aroma of fresh lilacs after the rain blended took to the high tones of the air with the lily of the valley holding the velvet centre, soft winds caressing.

This post was meant to come out in June, yet June is but a memory, it’s rustling cool winds made way for the dog days of summer, beginning cool then heating up.

Noctilucent

Petals and blooms have been short lived, like July, their momentary glory suddenly drowned by winds and rains. Flat bottomed clouds look curiously out of place, direction less. Noctilucent clouds have begun appearing on a regular basis, obvious signs of the shift that is occurring.

August has brought with it a heaviness of uncertainty to the air. An underlying current of deep movement which is about to break the surface. We are having a gas shortage in Alberta, if you can believe that. Many station have their pumps covered. The place I stopped had one pump still working. Last summer, on the long weekend, I recall a similar scenario. When a shortage is created we have no choice but to abide. I lay low, and take only what I need. So much to go around, yet more than half the world struggling. It is time for the greed to end.

peek-a-boo

Time out to photograph some horses which are technically within the city limits. This guy was so friendly, I was sorry I had not brought carrots. So I lose myself in small distractions, which are really the biggest thing in my life. Nature is my salvation, a trust in knowing larger forces are at work. Surrender the fear, let the white water toss you into the flow of the river, allowing you to fall into grace.

Tune into the frequency of abundance-set the tuner to the frequency for anything you want to manifest in your life. All life is vibration and we are light beings-so we must tune to source and who we are-it is not the other way around. Connect to the highest form you can grasp onto, and ride that wave.

Now I sit listening to the night rains … softly, steadily falling, a prelude to tomorrow’s lunar eclipse third in a series.

Feather Dream

Summer Blazes

Hollyhock Buds

Late afternoon breezes graze the hushed hotness of the day offering small relief. It is another scorcher! Restless, not wanting to budge, I am enveloped by the throb of the summer heat. Woolgathering thoughts hover like the predaceous wasps, relentless. Muffled flutter of a bird’s wings like rustling taffeta breaks the monotony.

Pink Hollyhock

Hollyhocks are plentiful this year. This is the first variety to appear in my garden. I have a family of white lady bugs living on a red bee balm bloom. What fascination nature offers! Sleepless hot summer nights continue.

Porch lights dot the neighborhood deep into the wee hours. This was not always the case. People are on edge here. An arson spree went on only about eight blocks from where I live on Friday night. What an alarming precursor to the full moon and partial eclipse. No suspects are in hand, so I and the neighbors wait breathlessly, hoping for a faint sign, a clue to who was responsible. I confess my sleep is scarce since this. Here is a haiku I am fond of.

Barn’s burnt down
now
I can see the moon.
~Masahide

Sunflower

Speaking of burn, I am sunburned from painting out of doors yesterday I went to a little workshop at a community garden.

Yea I actually got outside to paint-next time I will bring sunscreen. It was fun experimenting with watercolors again, which is the medium I started with.

Sometimes it is good to go back to the very basics. Simplify, reconstruct and reinvent.

Gardening & Such

Gardening & Such

Look at these juicy cherry tomatoes … pick them fresh off the vine to toss into a salad … yum! When you grow your own, things taste better. I have about a dozen hollyhock blooms now … birds have plucked off a couple so I pressed them in my flower press. Amazing how delicate the petals are. Perhaps that is why the leaves are so tough. Hollyhocks are very ancient, having been found in the grave of a Neanderthal man, I was recently reading somewhere. My hostas have bloomed.

Cherry TomsHollyhocks BunchHostas

Despite the altitude here, this year has been exceptional for growing things. Some peony plants will be going in very soon, as I have the perfect spot readied for them. My solar-powered gardening-yard lights are great. I highly recommend them. My place has gone through a process of decluttering, and I am painting.

I began a layout on a new commission for one of my regular patrons. Also a landscape possibly three feet by four feet is in the works. I never did learn the meaning of the word ‘boredom’! I should have some new artwork to post soon.

Our weather is cooler for the moment, with hotter weather promised for tomorrow. Not a fan or air conditioning unit can be found anywhere in Calgary as they are SOLD OUT! This has been the hottest weather in about thirty-five years. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.

I thank you all for your readership, and for your lovely comments-one and all. I have lost heart for commenting momentarily, since the bug I have posted about in the bug blog has never been addressed here! Does anyone have any idea how to fix this or has anyone else been experiencing this?

No matter what you are doing … make sure you make time to smell the flowers!

Smell the Flowers

A Thousand Shades of Green

lilacswhite_sm

Summer is almost here, surrounding us with textures of blooms, leaves, branches and a thousand shades of green. Time is moving frantically forward. Trying to find a moment to catch my breath.

I am learning so much at my job as a multimedia artist. Creating beauty, and beautiful environments for people seems like a noble pursuit, in these times. Perhaps it is the new renaissance, which by the way is sadly overdue.

All of what I am doing at this job, is crucial to my development as an artist. The physical demands are toning muscles in my body I did not remember having.

luce

Still recovering from the concert, which went well. Although it wasn’t a money maker, the process was invaluable, and certainly a worthwhile pursuit.

Here is an action shot of the concert. I am happy to say we spent the day after the concert at the spa in Banff soaking up the mineral waters. Our visitors from the UK had a chance to see the Rockies for the first time. I think they enjoyed their visit as much as we enjoyed hosting them.

“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” ~Kahlil Gibran

Down by the River

bytheriver
You can always tell it is going to be a hot summer by the size of the dandelions. This year the roots are as big as baby carrots. Most times, the rain predicted passes us by, leaving hot sun to beat down on cracked earth, dry winds being the only relief .

Today I went to the Farmer’s Market with a friend. The market was overrun with people, lineups, crowded and hot. We shopped in record time, and decided the best place to cool off would be the river. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with that idea. The place was packed with inner tubes, floating mattresses, and dingys. Navigating past people on the side of the road pumping air into their rafts, all hopes diminished when a parking spot was nowhere to be found.

Cruising over to the north side of the river, we sat on the rocks by riverbank, feet dangling in the water, sipping slurpees. Anything that could or would float was carried downstream by the rapid current. Dogs raced in and out of the water while the river patrol zoomed by in their power skiff, checking to see if people were wearing the mandatory life jackets.

What a wonderful way to spend a hot afternoon. I returned home with fresh peaches, plump juicy cherries, salt water taffy, double salted black licorice, fresh veges, oh and let’s not forget the blueberries. Ah, don’t you just love summer!

Gardening and Such

gardentools

Gardening is therapy. I love the smell of fresh dark earth, after a rain, as I inspect seedlings for any sign of growth. When I am in the garden, time does not exist. Fortunate to live in a quiet neighborhood, conscious only of my connection with nature, gardening is like a form of meditation. As an artist, I find being in touch with the natural rhythms of nature crucial to my creativity.

In the paper towel, I am soaking morning glory seeds, which shall go into the ground tomorrow. I have planted many things already, and some are sprouting. Sometimes I dry flowers with my microwave dryer from Lee Valley Tools, which is a wonderful place for all sorts of unique items for home and garden. I like to follow the Farmer’s Almanac, as a guideline for planting.

Gardening in the foothills presents it’s own special challenges. Sometimes the length of time between frosts can be as few as ninety days, or we may see as many as 150 frost free days. Our altitude is approximately 1050 meters or 3500 feet above sea level. Combine that with dry Chinook winds, semi arid climate, and our proximity to the mountains, you have a shorter growing season. Yet with our long days of light, rapid growth is seen. Twilight lasts until well after 10pm.

My herb garden, and pots will be next, just as soon as I get some bedding plants. I have some herbs up already, which were planted last year. Then in the warm heat of summer, I shall sit on my patio, with a good book, and a huge glass of homemade lemonade, to enjoy the fruits of my efforts. Now that’s heaven!

Almost August

Hottest day of the year up until now with scarely a breeze. Hollyhocks are beginning to bloom. August arrives tomorrow.

Cold lemonade and ice in a mason jar topped with mint from my garden.
Streets are deserted, window blinds shut tight, lawns trimmed to perfection, evidence of civilized habitation.

Lazy bees drone from bloom to bloom sipping nectar, which only seems to slow then down more. Not a bird in sight.

Yesterday morning, the yard was filled with baby birds, robins I think. The parent bird was supervising the new found skills of the young to find the fattest, most luscious berries.

One disheveled specimen was lying on the ledge of the fence. At first I thought he may be injured, or perhaps one of those who are not strong enough to survive. He proved me wrong moments later to my delight, hopping up and joining the rest.

Rather a strange phenomenon, this longing for summer days that goes on all winter long, yet now here, I seek refuge in the cool darkness, cheek pressed on the cold hardwood, alongside the cats flaked out on the floor.

So glad I chose the lower level for my studio. It remains cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter than the rest of the house, which in theory, encourages more time spent in it. These days it does not come without effort.

Summer heat gives rise to my nocturnal tendencies,
the notion of sleeping away
the sweltering days,
to prowl deep
into the night’s coolness.